Congratulations! Gold Standard for Youth Work Ireland Tipperary

World Health Day, April 7, was a very exciting day for Youth Work Ireland Tipperary as they were presented with a new plaque for their health promotion work.

This is the 3rd renewal of the Gold Standard Award by the National Youth Council of Ireland, in recognition of the work of the past three years (2018-2020) in health with young people in Tipperary.

The price is based on the dimensions of health, ie; Social, sexual, mental/emotional, spiritual, physical and planetary.

There are 12 evaluation criteria derived from health promotion policies; Role of HP committee, Youth health strategy, Youth involvement, Youth peer health promotion initiatives, Organizational health policies, Health training plans for staff, Volunteers and Management, Models of Good Practice, Interagency Collaboration and Community Connections, Promoting Equality and Inclusion, Occupational Health and Safety, Safeguarding and Child Protection.

The April 7 event was opened by Jack Ryan (a member of the Youth Mental Health subgroup at Thurles) who was the emcee for the evening.

He began by introducing Kevin O’Driscoll from the National Youth Council of Ireland and asking Kevin to give details of the renewal he had just assessed.

“I would like to commend YWIT for their work in driving the HP agenda and for supporting the work done within the group. Having an HP committee of dedicated volunteers, including young people, to support Pauline as a promoter of health, is very admirable and very unique. The evidence briefs presented were full of great initiatives and good practices in the field of health promotion,” Kevin said.

He then presented the new Gold Award plaque to Joanne McCormack (HP Committee Chair). Accepting the award, Joanne said it was great to be part of this very active committee even during Covid, when they met online.

“It’s really important to keep the focus on HP because health impacts everyone and promoting good health and support habits is essential for people to take care of themselves. On a personal level, working in palliative care provides balance and is very rewarding to be involved in this aspect of health and well-being,” Joanne said.

Viv O’Connor (Board Representative) explained how excited she was to be part of this committee on behalf of the Board, and how she thinks health is part of everything and HP is part of it. integral to the work is beneficial for all young people and the communities they work with. Kaitlyn Ryan, who is a youth member and also chair of the mental health subgroup at Thurles, spoke about the virtual wellness badges they created last year during Covid.

She said the goal was to give young people the opportunity to do well-being tasks on their phones, which could create good habits for their mental health in the future, such as taking a walk or holding a log. Kaitlyn then relaunched the badges so that more young people can use the code to access the badges and participate in 2022. The link to this is https://www.badgecraft.eu/

Caroline Burke (CE Supervisor) also spoke at the event and explained how staff wellbeing has become part of the work culture.

She reminded staff to look out for themselves so they can create good health habits in their work environment.

“Last year’s Staff Wellness Challenge was very positive and allowed staff and volunteers to connect as teams and participate even in Covid times,” said Caroline.

Current BOM Chair Aishling Sheehan Boyle said that over the years she has seen how HP’s integration into our work with young people and the promotion of young people’s health has had an impact on the both within the community and at the inter-agency level, which ultimately brought news of services and funding opportunities for youth health in our region.

She congratulated the HP committee for their commitment to this area of ​​our work and wished them well for the next cycle. The final words came from Pauline Strappe, the Staff Team Health Promoter. Pauline thanked the committee of volunteers who are such a support to this work and a great sounding board for new ideas.

“All staff have health promotion work as part of their overall work plan, but it’s great to have a dedicated group with that as their primary focus,” said Pauline.

Jack ended the formal side of the event by inviting everyone to a cake to celebrate.

Youth Work Ireland Tipperary, through its inter-agency work and core values, makes youth health a priority in its work with young people in Tipperary.

Overnight some of the work from recent years was highlighted including work during Covid which included the shift to digital youth work and engagement with young people online and included new health policies and digital wellbeing and youth support on zoom and online platforms.

The award given to YWIT accredits them for the next three-year health promotion cycle, which has already begun. This gives the group the opportunity to plan HP’s work in a targeted way.

They see this work as something that can be developed further in the future by responding to the needs of young people and young adults in Tipperary and supporting the staff and volunteers who work with them.

The HP committee is excited to be working on a new HP plan for the next few years and is planning a meeting in May.

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